Football fans weren’t expecting a classic but that’s exactly what the Everett and Malden football fans produced Sunday afternoon at Macdonald Stadium.
With the Greater Boston League championship on the line, heavily favored Everett and upstart Malden battled into overtime before the Crimson Tide prevailed by a 13-7 score.
Everett can clinch the undisputed GBL title with a win over Cambridge on Thanksgiving. Based on head-to-head competition, the Tide have already locked up the league’s playoff berth and a Dec. 1 date with Merrimack Valley champion Billerica.
Sophomore quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso connected with Manny Asprilla for a six-yard touchdown pass in overtime for a 13-7 lead. Malden appeared to have tied the game on a touchdown pass, but it was nullified by an “illegal shift” call. The Tide, aided by a key defensive play by Rodman Noel, stopped Malden’s passing attempt on the next play and the big victory belonged to Everett.
Malden took a 7-0 lead and its defense kept Everett in check until Jean Bourdeau responded with a 49-yard touchdown run with 5:43 remaining. Gilly DeSouza booted the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
The score remained tied before DiBiaso and Asprilla provided the game-winning points in overtime.
The old cliché about "that’s why they still play the games" held true in this case. No one gave Malden much of a chance to topple the 13-time defending champion Crimson Tide, except Malden. But the Tide players looked into the face of a determined opponent and held back a tremendous challenge by the Golden Tornadoes.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed by the rainstorm and rescheduled for Sunday.
Billerica will be Everett’s opponent on Dec. 1 as the Indians rolled to a huge 34-6 win over Central Catholic. Nick LaSpada, a sophomore quarterback, threw five touchdown passes in the game, earning Division 1 Globe Player of the Week honors. The Everett coaches no doubt have scouted LaSpada and will have a solid plan in effect come game time.